Welcome to E3. The 2017 edition of the biggest North American gaming expo revised the well established formula, opening the show floor to the public. 15,000 lucky attendees will join the press and industry in the LA Convention Center, witnessing the road map for games unravel live before their very eyes.
This article is meant to highlight the games which captured my attention. Games have evolved into a diverse medium, spreading out through the spectrum of genres and themes.
Need for Speed: Payback
If I had to describe my feelings on the Need for Speed franchise in a single word, that word would be ‘complicated’. Burnout, a lesser known, better reviewed racing series, died at the altar so that Need for Speed could live. Payback pays homage to this unfortunate sacrifice through its aggressive driving. Ostensibly, Payback could be Fast & Furious: The Game — havoc is the primary force at play. The mid-race cinematics give me pause, but I look forward to seeing more from this title soon.
A Way Out
I didn’t expect to be impressed by the next title from the team behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a game which I’m completely indifferent about. A Way Out ditches the fairy tale aesthetic of their previous effort, replacing it with something more realistic to recount this epic prison break. It’s time to get out. Work with a partner to navigate this tightly curated work of art. The developer emphasized that this game was designed to be played locally with someone else. It might be time to invest in a couch.
Dragon Ball Fighter Z
Anime games have a very long legacy of being very bad. No matter the genre, these titles all face the same difficult dilemma: cater to gamers and critics with refined gameplay, or cater to anime fans by adding as many characters and as much fan service as possible. Arc Systems, the team behind Guilty Gear, was provided the impossible task of making a great Dragon Ball fighting game. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like they’ve succeeded. DBZ has never been captured so lovingly.
The Last Night
Finally, an indie game. The Last Night appears to draw heavily from the cyberpunk genre of fiction. When I watch the trailer, my mind can’t help but think of the time I spent watching Cowboy Beebop in grade school. Aesthetically, The Last Night stands unparalleled. The cinematography, combined with the immaculate lighting of every shot, paints the entirety of the experience as an illustrious work of art. The hybrid nature of the two dimensional and three dimensional styles at play merge so seamlessly that you have no choice other than to let it captivate you.
I don’t know what’s going on in Anthem, but I do know that it’s a drop dead gorgeous video game. To me, the game appears to be trying to cut into the Destiny market with four player co-op and robust character progression. Bioware’s spotty history in recent years may have its audienc wary, but it’s hard to resist Anthem‘s immediate appeal.
Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
Ready to fight some Nazis?! Wolfenstein: The New Colossus takes place in an alternate reality America where the Nazis won World War II and boy! — It’s not afraid to call upon some nasty subjects. Prepare yourself to fight Nazis, Robots, even the KKK. I’m not joking — this game goes some places. Also, I want to give TNC a shout out for having the trippiest end to a trailer I’ve seen in years! I’ll leave it at that.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
It didn’t matter if this trailer was good or bad, this one had to be on the list. For the past ten years, Beyond Good & Evil 2‘s has been one giant game of telephone. One year Ubisoft says that the game is in development, the next it’s cancelled. Despite having the number 2 in the title, BG&E2 acts as a prequel to the original. Apparently they cussed more back then, ’cause F bombs are dropping left, right, and sideways in this initial trailer.
Shadow of the Colossus
I’m not a huge advocate of the remaster trend in games — But a remake?! Put me in coach! The original Shadow of the Colossus is often described as a timeless classic, but an extra layer of graphical flourish has the potential to elevate the game to new heights. The desperate struggle between one young man and sixteen mighty colossi has never looked so immense and immersive.
God of War 4
God of War 4 poses a question that no right minded person would ask — Would Kratos make for a good father? The obvious answer is no, but it didn’t stop this game from being developed. Be prepared to experience a new God of War, with a revamped combat system, a new storytelling paradigm, and a different set of Gods to murder. Keep your cool — Kratos seems to be doing so (for the most part).
Kirby? Yes. New powers? Yes. 4-Player co-op? Eh, I’ll get over it. The sucking king returns on the Switch. Absorb your foes and gain their abilities, or leave them alive and keep them as an ally? The choice is yours. At the very least, it’s another title to add to the scorched, barren Nintendo Switch library.
This should be disqualified for not having a trailer, but for the precedent it’s breaking, I’m willing to let it slide just this once. Pokémon has always been a handheld-first series. Through the Switch’s hybrid design, this is the first time we’ll have a mainline entry designed for the TV. I would say more, but that’s literally all we know.
Super Mario Odyssey
Mario seems to have taken a cue from Dreamcast era Sonic. The signature Nintendo mascot finds himself in a world unlike the Mushroom Kingdom — A world with people based on our proportions. Mario’s hat, Cappy, works as a sidekick. Possess foes and objects littered throughout the environment, and control them to your liking. A Frog? You can be that. A Spaceship? Get on that! A Tyrannosaurus Rex?! Hit ’em with that cap!